I have previously mentioned the importance of having meetings and setting goals that would make you stretch. Goals are extremely powerful as it gives you a vision of what you want to accomplish and you center your thoughts and actions around how to achieve it. Kate and I set a goal to hit 100 page views by the end of the month of May. This was definitely a stretch because our prior months averages were under 15 views a day(excluding March because we had two posts that went slightly viral by our standards and were more of an anomaly than something consistent). We knew to achieve that goal several things had to happen:
1st – Quality Content √
We already created some content but content going forwarded needed to take a huge leap forward. Kate placed greater emphasis on her food photography to have stand out images and not something that would get lost in the noise of the countless other food pictures that could be found. She took a considerable amount of time and thought in her photos too truly showcase her food.
Each post created has had more thought as well to ensure that the post is sharing the food and also Kate’s personality. This is key to any blog as the bloggers personality needs to shine forth so that it can connect with their audience.
I took time to learn more about SEO(Search Engine Optimization) to make sure that each post could be ranked higher by search engine standards thus making it easier for people to come across our content on the web. Social media can drive huge amounts of traffic at the start and long term but if you are visible through a simple search you will reach an even wider audience. A tool that we use on WordPress(WordPress is an essential tool for anyone truly thinking about blogging as it is a content management system that has simplified the process to create and maintain a webpage or blog) is called Yoast, also known as a plugin on WordPress. This tool shows us our SEO ranking and even color codes each blog post from high to low. High being green, medium being orange, and low being red. Not only that but on the bottom of the page it will list tiny changes you can make to improve your pages SEO rankings. From typing more content in the post to adding a focus word. Several of our pages were in orange, some were red, and some didn’t have ANY color…the no color posts were bad because it signifies that this wasn’t visible on search engines from what I understanding. Thanks to this handy tool changes were made to increase the SEO to the highest level. Every little bit helps.
2nd – Be More Social √
Now last month Kate decided to be more social and share Buttercream Blonde with a few select friends and family. In May Kate decided to take her leap of faith and jumped all in. We want to build a successful blog that highlights her talents, love for food, and personality and that requires to step outside of the safe bubble that we create for ourselves. Everyone we knew was invited to join her Facebook page and follow her site. This instantly bumped up the number of viewers that we had but there was still a ways to go to get to 100 views a day.
We started to research online and various blogs of some of the best Social resources to use for our specific market, which is food of course. Yours may be different depending on what you decide to be blogging about but we found that Pinterest, Facebook, and Yummly were the best to post and share Kate’s Kitchen Creations. Now mind you were are testing the waters at several other social sites to see if any of those will bare fruit and drive traffic but for now these ones are getting the majority of our audience.
On a side note there are some food sites where you can submit pictures of your food and if they like them it will be selected and featured on the site. Several sites have accepted Kate’s food submissions; however, a supposedly top notch site called Food Gawker has not. It is funny because on several occasions her food has blown the competition out of the water and has gone viral on some social mediums but for whatever reason they will not accept the submission. I have banned Food Gawker from our site going forward. This is another motivator to me to build the site up knowing that even if you are turned down once, twice, or countless times opportunity awaits around every corner. I don’t need one site to tell me whether or not something is fantastic and you shouldn’t let anything tell you that as well.
Now back to being social. Kate has also expanded her social influence by being an active participant in several groups that cater to food by commenting and liking other member’s work.This has increased further awareness outside of her family and friends.
All of these tools have helped immensely and have played a part in her goal to hit 100 views by the end of May.
3rd – Experiment √
The success of many companies, blogs, and individuals can be pinpointed on a couple of things the first being creating a strong foundation of basic work and expectations. Ours is making food, eating food, taking pictures, writing posts and sharing. This is a normal routine that will continue going forward. Now to be truly successful one must also experiment. Experimenting requires research and pondering on any new knowledge gained. It requires to test new tools, social sites, posting methods, etc. You start to find out what is working and not working. By experimenting you can rapidly learn how to be zig-and-zag your way to success.
It is a fundamental desire for humankind to yearn to learn, I wasn’t rhyming on purpose, and to create. By experimenting we are taking a step forward in murky waters with the hope that it will become clear and lead to innovation and success.
Something we have tested and will continue to work on is creating short videos highlighting cooking tips, ideas, and recipes. Here is the video of our first attempt. Let me warn you it is a little rough and fairly basic but it is a start.
From this experiment we now know what we need to do to improve the quality of the video and have other ideas for content to share. It will be a work in progress for sure but as long as we are striving to experiment new mediums to share the content and focus on what works we will be successful.
4th – Confidence √
Continue to be confident that consistency in the small things you do day-to-day on your blog will eventually work. Be confident that you have the tenacity to reach your market and be successful through your continued efforts of learning and applying what you have learned. Be confident in your personality and talents. The internet is a mix of every type of person, personality, and culture and provides countless opportunities to be reach success. What is important to understand is that success might not come right away or it might not come from your first attempt building your blog but maybe it will on your next attempt. Remember it took Edison 1000 attempts to invent to light bulb. He was confident in his abilities and what he wanted to achieve and eventually he got there.
All these above steps were building blocks and you know what? They worked. Our numbers continued to grow near the last half of May until we hit 100 views/day. Now on to our next goal!
For a visual of what the end of May looked like for us and our average per day just check out the below states proudly presented by another WordPress tool or plugin called Jetpack.
We hit our highest numbers in the month of May both for total monthly views and average visits per day. Our total views from April to May increased by over 282.56%!!! That is huge in my book.
Below is an overview of pageviews and growth using Google Analytics. Google and Jetpack count numbers slightly numbers based off their system rules but both are good resources. Now Google Analytics is not a WordPress tool but rather an amazing Google product that can provide more specific details on your target market. As you can see the growth was somewhat stagnant the first half of the month with a few rare jumps but the last half of the month shows real consistent growth. This is after we implemented all the steps previously discussed.
As for the income portion here are our numbers for May. Once more we didn’t have any expenses last month which resulted in a profit. Yes we were profitable once again!
$1.71 – Google Adsense
The net profit is an 8.9% increase from 4/2016! Any increase is positive and is another step in the right direction.
We hit our goals for having 100 views by the end of May, we increased our pageviews, and our net profit increased. Overall this was a great month and has motivated us even more to press onward towards our long term goals.